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Peek into a Rebel’s Life: Meet Mary Miller

While UNLV is located in Nevada, its unique qualities, opportunities, and diversity of all kinds attract students from all walks of life. This includes all parts of the country as well! One such student I’d like to introduce is Mary Miller, an out-of-state, first-generation student from Lancaster, California.

Mary was homeschooled throughout high school, and because of this, she was not able to receive A-G credits—a requirement for Californian state universities. Determined to achieve her dreams, she turned to out-of-state colleges. One of the schools she was looking into was UNLV. After touring the campus—pre-COVID, of course—she fell in love with not only the campus (I can't lie it really is beautiful, especially in the spring), but also everything the school stood for. As she stepped out of high school, diploma in hand, her next move in academia was as a freshman in none other than the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Like many students, Mary had originally applied to a program different from her current major. But after doing some thinking on what she really wanted to pursue career-wise and interest-wise, she made the switch. Now, Mary is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts with Honors in Criminal Justice which is within the Greenspun College of Urban Affairs. It is a beautiful, shady place that you can find near the bookstore on campus AKA her favorite spot to chill!

Through UNLV’s Criminal Justice (CRJ) classes, Mary aims to deepen her understanding of the legal system, especially focusing on civil rights violations. Some classes she is especially excited to take are CRJ 301, research in criminal justice methods, CRJ 315, focusing on hate crimes, and CRJ 428, which is explaining the relationship between women and crime. Through this major, Mary also hopes to use her knowledge to enter law school, pursue a career as an attorney, and eventually run for political office.

Being a Rebel doesn’t stop at academics, though! With over 400 RSOs (Registered Student Organizations) available at UNLV, every Rebel has a place to call home, even at school. In her first year, Mary decided to get involved with some orgs that helped bolster her interests and resume. For one, she is treasurer of UNLV’s chapter of Phi Alpha Delta which is a law fraternity found internationally. She is also Vice Chairwoman for the Scarlet and Grey Free Press (our school newspaper!) and serves as an Attorney General Advisory Board member. Lastly, she is an intern for UNLV’s student government, CSUN.

Mary is also a part of clubs that help enrich her social and personal interests, such as the 1st Generation Club, CRJ Club, and the PSC (Political Science) club! By getting involved across campus, even virtually due to the pandemic, she has met many friends online that she can not wait to meet in person!

Despite being a freshman with many years and many experiences still to be had at UNLV, Mary feels that she has not only learned a lot from her courses but has been able to connect with a wealth of people and ideas, even if those connections have only been made through Google Meets and Zoom. Her advice to new and incoming students is to get involved! Make the most of your first year by finding your areas of interest and following what makes you feel enriched in both classes and clubs!


Safiyya Bintali

Orientation Leader

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